Essays on Consumer Behavior and Analytics
The first chapter of my dissertation is joint work with Professor Karsten Hansen. This chapter examines gender differences in grocery retail shopping. We used consumer transaction data over the length of 12 years to find that the typical female consumer is less concentrated in choice of retail outlet, product category, brand choice and is more responsive to promotions than male shoppers. The findings are confirmed in both the “raw data” and regression analysis (including other demographic factors). The second chapter is a solo-authored paper. Chapter 2 examines consumer behavior in response to manipulations of an increasingly popular price framework, called ‘drip pricing’. Our research is the first to provide insights through the manipulation (salience, magnitude, and type) of its two primary elements: the base price and surcharges. We conduct eight field experiments on a popular travel platform to document causal effects on the search and purchase process. My findings confirm the importance of the headline price as an ‘anchor’ in this framework; additionally, its removal led to higher quality tickets purchased but led to a reduced quantity of tickets sold. When surcharge information is shrouded, customers are not information seeking and did not seek price information and made purchases based on the most pertinent data. Consumers are more sensitive to changes in fees at lower prices and are responsive to variations in the type of surcharge. Additionally, customers are responsive to taxes rather than fee surcharges.